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CHICAGO MERCHANTS AND PAINTMAKERS TAKE CITY TO COURT ON SPRAY PAINT BAN

CHICAGO MERCHANTS AND PAINTMAKERS TAKE CITY TO COURT ON SPRAY PAINT BAN
 CHICAGO, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A citywide ban on the sale of spray paint, passed without notice or hearing by the Chicago City Council last month as an anti-graffiti measure, was challenged in United States District Court today by a long list of plaintiffs including a number of Chicago neighborhood hardware stores and the National Paint & Coatings Association.
 The action, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, seeks to overturn the ban, scheduled to take effect in late July. The group filed suit even while a number of aldermen are privately expressing doubts as to the ban's constitutionality or possible impact on graffiti. "Given the council's surprise action, we felt immediate steps were necessary to block implementation," says the NPCA's David Lloyd. "Consumers, retailers and paintmakers need to know their rights are protected while we work on this issue with the city council."
 The complaint filed today cites a number of constitutional problems with the ordinance. Local retailers and manufacturers also see it as taking toll in jobs and business. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce preliminary estimate puts the first year job loss at 232. The chamber further projects at least $14.2 million in paint and related sales lost or moving to the suburbs. The corresponding sales tax loss would be $1.27 million.
 Industry experts are further concerned with the potential environmental impact of alternatives to spray paint. Robert Graham, technical director for Sherwin-Williams Company Specialty Brands, points to recent research showing that alternatives to spray paint release as much as three times the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air as do aerosols. According to Graham, "If only a fraction of Chicago contractors, business and households chose alternatives rather than a trek to suburban stores for aerosol paint, we would be looking at increased pollution, not in pounds, but in tons of VOCs." Chicago is already classifies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a serious ozone non-attainment area.
 Ironically, the Chicago paint industry was recently cited by the Mayor for its help in cleaning up the city. Since 1990, area paintmakers have given over 30,000 gallons of paint, along with brushes and other supplies, for Chicago neighborhood graffiti clean-ups.
 William Caprel, of Chicago-based Tru-Test Manufacturing, says the industry is till optimistic about a working anti-graffiti program in Chicago. He believes that "we want the same thing the council wants, an end to graffiti. But there are a dozen different items vandals would turn to if you deprived them of spray paint."
 Caprel predicts, "I'm confident that we'll win in court. But after that, we'll still live here and very much want to help. The primary challenge is to change the way a small number of kids think and act. That's a social problem, not a consumer product problem. Working together, I believe we can solve it."
 A hearing on the case is not yet scheduled.
 -0- 6/18/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: If you have a special subject matter interest in this issue, the following list of contacts should help in locating the right resource person.
 Should you have additional information or assistance needs, please call Bob Hills at 312-984-7684 or:
 -- Harvey M. Sheldon, 312-372-2000.
 Sheldon and Bruce Weitzman of McDermott, Will and Emery are the attorneys representing the National Paint & Coatings Association, Rust- Oleum Corporation, Ace Hardware Corporation, Tru-Test Manufacturing Company, Jim's Ace Hardware, Inc., W.C. Schauer Hardware Center, Inc., Elston Hardware, Inc., The Art & Craft Materials Institute, Sakura Color Products of America, Smiley Ace Hardware, Inc. and individual plaintiffs.
 -- Thomas G. Dent, Peter C. Woodford, Therese Griffin Pinter, 312-346-8000.
 Dent, Woodford and Pinter of Seyfarth Shaw Fairweather & Geraldson are the attorneys representing the Sherwin-Williams Company.
 -- Lawrence J. Suffredin, Jr., 312-408-3400.
 Suffredin is the attorney providing legislative liaison between the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association, the National Paint & Coatings Association and the city of Chicago.
 -- William T. Caprel, 708-639-5383.
 Caprel, of Tru-Test Manufacturing Company, is the past president of the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association and knowledgeable in that group's community support activities.
 -- David W. Lloyd, 202-462-6272
 Lloyd is the state affairs director for the National Paint & Coatings Association.
 -- Robert N. Hills, 703-751-6074
 Hills is the anti-graffiti program coordinator for the National Paint & Coatings Association./
 /CONTACT: Bob Hills of the National Paint & Coatings Association, 312-984-7684/ CO: National Paint & Coatings Association ST: Illinois IN: SU:


AH-LR -- NY076 -- 1696 06/18/92 17:36 EDT
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Date:Jun 18, 1992
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